The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have really struggled badly in ACC play this season, thanks to injuries and an odd youth movement for a Mike Brey team. It didn’t get any better on senior night inside Purcell Pavilion as the Irish lose to the Clemson Tigers in the final seconds.
The Irish had a rough start to the game and quickly arrived at the point where they were playing from behind for most of the first half. Huge scoring droughts have plagued Notre Dame all season, and this game was no different as they went 8 minutes with a bucket at one point.
Amazingly enough, the Irish fought back to tie the game heading into the half, and it looked like tonight might be different.
The Irish actually built up a 4 point lead late in the second half, but they turned the ball over, took bad shots, and got lost on defense enough for Clemson to come back to take the lead.
With 3 seconds left in the game, Nate Laszewski went to the line for a 1 and 1 with the Irish only down two. Nate hit the first one, but rimmed the second. Clemson went back to the free throw line with 2 seconds left and made the first shot, and then missed the second shot. The ensuing full court lob found nothing but air.
John Mooney had a huge game with 18 points and 20 rebounds. T.J. Gibbs added 14 more on a night the Irish were down their usual number and also Nikola Djogo and D.J. Harvey. Freshman Dane Goodwin had 12 points and his classmate, Prentiss Hubb added 7 more.
It was all about droughts, untimely turnovers, and Clemson playing extremely well against the zone.
Notre Dame has just 3 ACC wins this season, and will try to close out the regular season with a 4th against the Pittsburgh Panthers in Pittsburgh.